BigGovernment: Unions’ Unfair PLAy in California

0 February 1, 2010  State & Local Construction, Uncategorized friend and contributor Bret Jacobson wrote a great piece exposing Big Labor tactics in California in a January 29 post titled, “Unions’ Unfair PLAy in California.”

Some elected leaders in California are coming up on a tough decision: do they do what’s right for taxpayers, or take from the poor and give to rich union officials?

The story: Working Americans — taxpayers — have taken it on the chin in a tough economy. And now union are increasingly pushing special-interest laws known as “project labor agreements” that ensure that taxpayer-funded projects cost more because they can only use union labor. (watch video for a good explanation of the issue)
Now officials in Riverside, California are looking to slap a costly project labor agreement (see here ) on $350 million of construction efforts at the community college district. This after they have have already raised tuition by 30 percent this year passed a major tax increase. Not to load you down with math but PLA’s add about 20 percent in costs — meaning that tuition goes up, taxes go up to pay for the construction bond, and unions skim about $50 million in added costs.

Before Riverside leaders cast their votes, they ought to know that there’s an ugly history of PLAs in California. Unions have turned to “greenmail” — virtual extortion dressed up as environmentalism — to push PLA requirements on projects. And there’s evidence from the state that they even fail to deliver on the promises/alleged benefits of using a PLA.
Perhaps those are among the reasons that in November the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance banning PLAs to ensure that taxpayers got the best deal.
Will Riverside’s elected leaders do the same?
Well put.  Check out our February 1 post titled, California: Land of the Lost,” for more information on Big Labor’s efforts to limit competition at the taxpayers’ expense in California.

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